Wanted for the stabbing death of American tourist Dashawn Longfellow in Thailand on August 14th, British man Lee Aldhouse was smart. Aldhouse somehow managed to get out of Thailand, without being apprehended by Thai police who had called for a nationwide manhunt, and back to the United Kingdom. At an airport in the UK yesterday, Lee Aldhouse was detained and arrested by British airport officials, while on his way back into the country. Aldhouse though will likely be quite happy about that. Why? Put simply, in Thailand being found guilty of murder comes with a death sentence. In the UK, it does not. But, will Britain comply with Thai authorities and extradite Aldhouse back to Thailand for trial? Not bloody likely.
The murder of 23 year old American tourist, Dashawn Longfellow, allegedly by British man Lee Aldhouse, begins with a simple argument in a bar in Rawai in Thailand. Different stories about the incident abound but most witnesses said Lee Aldhouse started the argument and it was probably over a Thai woman who was with Mr. Longfellow. Mr. Longfellow and the woman then left the bar and went back to the hotel he was staying at. A few minutes later, he went down to a convenience store to buy some beer and was followed back to his hotel by Lee Aldhouse. A fight erupted outside Mr. Longfellow’s room, and he was stabbed repeatedly by Aldhouse who then fled the scene. CCTV footage shows a man matching the description of Lee Aldhouse fleeing on foot.
Two weeks later, Lee Aldhouse showed up in the United Kingdom having somehow managed to get out of Thailand without being caught. The Phuket provincial public prosecutor in Thailand is expected to file an extradition request with the British Embassy in Bangkok shortly. It’s unlikely this request will ever be honored by the British government though and there’s a good reason for it.
The United Kingdom, like most other European countries, does not sentence anyone to the death penalty. Under British law, the last time the death penalty was carried out for murder in the UK was in 1964, and then abolished in 1969. The British government believes the death penalty is a violation of human rights and that every country that still practices it violates those human rights. That’s why there’s practically no chance the UK will ever extradite Lee Aldhouse back to Thailand as, if found guilty of murder, he would be put to death.
In fact, in only one instance would Lee Aldhouse be extradited back to Thailand and that would be if Thai authorities agree the death penalty would not be applied if he was found guilty. However, Aldhouse will be given a lawyer in the UK if he cannot afford one himself, and that lawyer will more than likely fight against extradition simply because Thai prisons have a horrific record for inhumane conditions and human rights violations. Hardly any European country is going to extradite one of their citizens back to face a hell hole like that. Regardless of what they did.
For the family of Dashawn Longfellow, who will never see their son again, that’s just one more thing to have to bear. Coming from a country, the United States, that also still practices the death penalty, it’s probably hard for them to understand why the UK will not extradite Lee Aldhouse. But, as a citizen of the UK and one who believes handing out the death penalty is barbaric and makes a government no better than the murderer himself, I’m also glad I originally come from a country who’s government still believes the same thing.
Phuket murder suspect arrested at UK airport – Phuket Gazette